Senator Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) addressed a rally in the Thompson Center Plaza Monday, telling the crowd, “In the Senate, we stand with Israel.”
The rally was sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.
“We should not have a cease-fire until Hamas is militarily defeated by the IDF [Israel Defense Forces], our allies the Israelis,” Kirk told the group at the rally. “The only way we can bring peace to that area is to defeat those who bring terror to the Middle East.”
Just down the street, a heavy contingent of Palestinian supporters were also in attendance. The Palestinian group brought their flags and shouted slogans.
“There is no cessation of hostilities, in fact the Israelis continue their hostilities,” Hetem Abudayyeh of the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine told WGN. “We’re on the 21st or 22nd day of Israel’s rampage on Palestine and on Gaza, and we’re very, very concerned.”
There was a heavy police presence at the rally with officers on horseback and bicycles to keep the crowd separated. Police tell WGN that despite the fiery rhetoric, it was very peaceful.